Highfield Nursery School in Ipswich wins £200,000 of funding to become Research School

Highfield Nursery School in Ipswich is set to become a Research School. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Highfield Nursery School in Ipswich is set to become a Research School. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

An alliance of schools in Ipswich has won £200,000 of funding to boost the quality of teaching in the area through better use of research.

Highfield Nursery School, in collaboration with Kesgrave an Farlingaye Teaching School Alliance and Springfield Teaching Alliance, will receive the funding over three years, transforming it into the Research School for the Ipswich region.

The new school, the first early years setting to join the growing network of 23 Research Schools across the UK, will work to develop a programme of support and events, and build networks between schools, to get more teachers using research evidence to improve practice in the classroom.

It will be part-funded through the Government’s Opportunity Area programme as part of a joint initiative between the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the Institute for Effective Education (IEE),

Sir Kevan Collins, chief executive of the EEF, said: “For years, the worlds of education research and classroom teaching have been too far apart. The EEF’s mission has been to make research more accessible to teachers through our Teaching and Learning Toolkit, teacher guidance reports and other resources.

“Research Schools like Highfield are breaking down these barriers even more so that research doesn’t stay in the pages of academic journals but has a real impact on classroom practice. Putting teachers in the driving seat and making use of their practical experience and local insight can make all the difference.”

Lil Newton, strategic director at Highfield Nursery School, said the new research school was a great opportunity to improve outcomes for all pupils in our region.

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She said: “Over the next three years we’ll work with local schools to break down barriers and make sure that evidence of ‘what works’ has a real impact on classroom practice.”

Councillor Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills, added: “We are thrilled to welcome a second Research School to Suffolk and the first Early Years setting to join the network nationally.

“Through our work with Evidence Based Education and the EEF’s Research Lead Programme, our Raising the Bar programme has contributed to the successful appointment of the Ipswich Research School.

“The new research school will help to achieve our ambition to develop a community of teachers across Suffolk who are actively involved in using research to offer the best possible learning approaches and further improve outcomes for children in Suffolk, through the working relationships already established within the School to School Support Partnership and the Samuel Ward Research school.”

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